Coachella Weekend Two

After last weekend, I think it’s safe to say that Coachella has made it onto my list of the most unforgettable experiences ever. Coachella is a three day music festival in Indio, California, and it happens over two weekends in April. Every year, the headliners and lineup get released a few months before April, and it’s hard not to get excited when the countdown starts and the hype builds. Three of my friends and I packed up a day early and headed out to Palm Springs for Weekend Two. Once we got to the festival, it was hard not to run wild. Music was playing constantly from seven different stages, interesting art figures were displayed all throughout the grounds and the variety of fair food was endless (the Monster Fries and freshly squeezed lemonade were my favorites).

The headliners this year were Radiohead, Lady Gaga (who replaced Beyonce) and Kendrick Lamar. With the release of Kendrick’s new album, “DAMN.,” he was my favorite headliner. Although he didn’t bring out Rihanna as a guest to perform “Loyalty” like I was praying he would, he did sing my favorite song on his new album, “Love,” as well as a lot of his classics. Although, I’ve never been a huge fan of Lady Gaga, she was a fun performer and sounded amazing live. I saw Francis and the Lights when he opened for Chance the Rapper at the Cal Coast Credit Union Amphitheater last fall semester, and he’s such a quirky, energetic performer; I loved seeing him again. I didn’t catch many full performances because a lot of artists overlapped, but I got to see a few of my favorite songs from each artist: NAO’s “Bad Blood,” Glass Animals’s “Gooey,” Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied,” Porter Robinson’s “Shelter.” The most memorable experience of Coachella was being front row for Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” (I pushed through waves of people and waited an hour and a half to be that close!). He played at the Coachella Stage, and the whole crowd was silent throughout the performance – it was awe-inspiring.

If you’re looking to go to Coachella next year, they do have an advance sale that goes on in the summer. The nice thing about the advance sale is that you can sign up for the payment plan. You can find more information about that on their website! If you’re not sure about getting a ticket that early and want to see the lineup first, tickets go on sale again around January.

Featured Image by Trent Croci.

State Champs at the Observatory

On Sunday, April 23, State Champs put on a stellar performance at the Observatory in North Park. Openers included London based rock band Don Broco, newcomers With Confidence and fellow New Yorkers, Against the Current.  Although I only knew a few songs from the opening bands, I can say they were successful in hyping up the crowd for the main event.

Don Broco energized the crowd with its heavy guitars, groovy bass line and Rob Damiani’s unique vocal melody. Up next was With Confidence. This Australian pop punk band first started by uploading covers onto Youtube and playing local shows. Now, they are running with the big kids. They expanded their fanbase after performing at the 2016 Vans Warped Tour and releasing their new record “Better Weather.” This pop punk quartet takes a soulful approach to the genre’s sound – a similar vibe to State Champs. This band is going to get big, just wait and see. The last opening band to take the stage was Against the Current. The major problem I have with them is not their music itself but their sound system. The bright guitars, synth sounds and instrument effects drowned out Chrissy Constanza’s vocals. Despite the cohesive sound made by the band, the singer’s vocals were not my cup of tea. Overall, the performance was mediocre at best.

Finally, it was State Champs’ turn to blow away the audience. And they did. From start to finish, the group put their all into the show, playing old songs, new songs and fan favorites. Their setlist included oldies such as “Stick Around,” “Deadly Conversation” and “Mind Bottled.” They even played a new song, “Slow Burn,” and “Around the World and Back” from their latest record. Opening with “Remedy,” Derek’s vocals blasted throughout the venue as he sang “I got no time…” over and over again. Arguably, he has the best vocals in the pop punk scene, and his performance merely solidified that. Each note, each verse, each vocal run he sang was perfect, and hyped-up the crowd. However, with the rest of the band included, State Champs becomes an unstoppable pop punk act. Each member has their own musical finesse and is capable of creating magic in the studio and on-stage.

By the end of the concert, the crowd was going insane and the atmosphere was electric. Crowd surfers were flying through the air, stage lights were flashing and everyone was going wild. I, for one, was right at the barricade, dripping with sweat and having the time of my life. After the show, I even had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Scott Graham, the bassist, and had him re-sign my inhaler. You could say I was overwhelmed.

This was my third time seeing State Champs and they never disappoint. Pop punk is not dead, kids. It is bands like this who keep that spirit alive.

Featured Image (State Champs @ Masquerade 11.21.15-52) by Nicole Kibert. No changes made. 

Concert Review: The 1975 at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater

The 1975 brought all their heavy hitters and fan favorites to their set at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater on Tuesday, April 25.

The massive, dedicated community of The 1975 fans gathered in excitement, screams piercing from the band’s first sign of movement to the final bow.

The night began with “Love Me,” the first single from “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.” With the first distinctive guitar riff, the audience’s enthusiasm was palpable. Matty’s dancing was the sporadic movement of lanky limbs.

“UGH!” and “Heart Out,” the latter from their eponymous debut album, continued the high energy start, but the band soon slowed down for the more personal tracks, “A Change of Heart” and “Robbers.”

Aside from fan favorites, the band pulled out deep cuts (songs) throughout the night, like “Menswear,” “M.O.N.E.Y.,” “Me” and “fallingforyou.” The fans’ excitement did not waver, and their dedication to The 1975 was made even clearer with their knowledge of these more obscure songs.

Healy talked to the crowd in between songs, praising the audience’s liberalism and compassion, before dedicating the “I like it when…” single, “Loving Someone,” to the LGBT community. He also made sure the fans knew that a percentage of the revenue made from the band’s merchandise was going to be donated to charities supporting the LGBT community.

Despite Healy’s showmanship, the excellent music and the crowd’s energy, the show stealer was the lighting design. Each song had its own lighting scheme: rainbow during “Loving Someone,” a cityscape during “UGH!” and “I like it when…,” and pink during “She’s American.”

“Somebody Else” proved to be a favorite performance among the audience, as Healy led their shouts of “F—k that, get money!” during the song’s bridge. Even Healy himself noted that the crowd reached peak energy during that song.

The set rounded out with the bona fide anthems “Girls” and “Sex,” two of the most famous tracks from The 1975’s debut album. The band members walked offstage, but were quickly ushered back for an encore by the passionate crowd, who was not ready to let the night end.

The encore brought about the best, and last, performance of the night, “The Sound.” The shouts of, “I know when you’re around ‘cause I know the sound, I know the sound of your heart,” almost drowned out Healy’s own singing.

The 1975 ended the night with their most vigorous performance, and the fans were left more than satisfied after hearing every song a 1975 fan would have wanted to hear.

Featured Image by Julianna Ress.

5 Books to read before their movies come out

Recently, book-based movies have been some of the most successful cinema projects in Hollywood. However, sometimes the movies can’t provide as much detail or accuracy as the original story does, which can be disappointing. Reading the book before seeing the movie can make the story that much more interesting because you get to see your favorite characters and places come to life on-screen. If you like to read the books before you watch the movie version, below is a list of five novels being made into movies this year that you should read.

1. “The Circle” by Dave Eggers

This books is about the limits and boundaries that technology can cross, when it comes to what should be private and what should be public. The protagonist gets a job at a major tech company, only to find that there is something unsettling going on. This movie will be coming to theaters on April 28, and stars Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and Karen Gillan.

2. “My Cousin Rachel” by Daphne du Maurier

This book is about a young man who decides to take revenge on his cousin-in-law, whom he suspects murdered his cousin. However, upon meeting her, he begins fall for her beauty. If you’re into drama, mystery and romance, I recommend you read this book before it comes out in theaters, on July 14. The movie stars Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin.

3. “The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger” by Stephen King

The Dark Tower movie poster

 

This story is a cross between horror, western and sci-fi. If that catches your attention, then this book series about a “gunslinger” in search of the dark tower that holds the key to all the universes, is for you. The movie arrives in theaters on July 28, and stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

4. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” by Jeanne-Claude Mezieres and Pierre Christin

In this book, Valerian and Laureling are agents from Galaxity, a city from the 28th century. In order to catch Xombul, a man obsessed with power, they get sent to New York in 1986. There, they strive to find a way to confirm that the future is still intact. This movie will star Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke and Dane DeHaan, and will start playing in theaters on July 21.

5. “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie

This book is about the Orient Express after a mysterious murder takes place, and a detective on board trying to solve one of the most interesting cases in his career. This movie will hit the theaters on November 22, and stars Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Josh Gad.